Live fast, die young? No thanks.
Not surprisingly, most of us are interested in living longer than the typical average. In the U.S., the average life expectancy is 81 years for women and 77 years for men. When asked how long they’d like to live, 63% of U.S. adults answered longer than the average life expectancy, 29% answered about that long, and only 6% answered less than that.
What’s the key to a long life? There’s no guaranteed method. But, here are 7 healthy habits that experts say will give you a good shot at a long, healthy life..
Overeating can result in excess body weight and belly fat, which left unchecked can lead to obesity. Obesity is clearly linked with shorter lifespans and increased likelihood of disease.
That said, in your effort to not overeat, be sure not to undereat either. Insufficient calorie intake can result in malnutrition, increase fatigue, lower body temperature, and diminish sex drive.
Curcumin, the main bioactive compound in turmeric, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It can help maintain brain, heart, and lung function, as well as guard against age-related disease. Very popular in India, it has been consumed there for thousands of years.
Eat more plant-based foods
Many studies link a plant-rich diet to a reduced risk of premature death, as well as lower risk of cancer, metabolic syndrome, heart problems, depression and brain deterioration.
This is because plant foods are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants. Plant foods include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains and beans.
People who exercise more than 150 minutes per week are 35% less likely to suffer a premature death. But, as little as 15 minutes of exercise each day can add an additional 3 years to your life!
Smoking is scientifically proven to increase the risk of disease and early death.
People who smoke are 3 times more likely to die prematurely than those who don’t, and can lose up to 10 years of their lives from smoking.
If you quit smoking by the time you’re 35 years old you can prolong your life up to 8.5 years. Even if you don’t quit until your 60s, you could still add up to 3.7 years onto your life by quitting!
Limit alcohol consumption
Heavy alcohol intake is linked to liver disease and heart disease, as well as pancreatic disease and risk of premature death.
Limiting your consumption of alcohol, or not consuming it at all, can prevent these consequences of heavy drinking.
Finally, sleep is necessary in order for your body to regulate cell function. Going to bed and waking up around the same time each day can increase your longevity. In fact, more recent research indicates that quality sleep may be the key to a long life. Matt Walker, a leading sleep scientist, has called sleep the “elixir of life”.
Note that 8–9 hours of sleep is the recommended amount of sleep a night for the average person.
Too little sleep or infrequent sleep can lead to inflammation and increase risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Too much sleep can be a symptom of depression or a sign of undiagnosed health issues.
Want more healthy habits?
Check out our blog, “10 Healthy Habits for a Healthy Lifestyle”.